Greenpeace Italy activists this morning covered the famous sculpture by Maurizio Cattelan, also known as "The Finger”, with a giant green glove.

Activists surrounded the base of the sculpture and unfurled a banner with the message: "Fashion sells dreams that could become nightmares for the planet".

'Fashion Duel' Action, Milan © Andrea Guermani / Greenpeace

They called on the companies that are presenting their new collections at Milan Fashion Week to commit to zero deforestation and zero discharge of hazardous chemicals in their supply chains.

This is the third “green touch” we put on the Milan Fashion Week after the "clean graffiti" we left on the streets of the Milan’s Fashion district and the vertical catwalk at the Castello Sforzesco.

We chose Cattelan's sculpture because the erected finger indicates only one way to go: towards a cleaner future free of hazardous chemicals and deforestation.

Top fashion Italian brands such as Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Trussardi and Roberto Cavalli have unveiled next season’s hottest trends at Milan Fashion Week. Shiny colors, fancy accessories, and elegant prints will soon set the trend. 

The clothes were gorgeous, but in this beautiful picture there’s something missing. Behind every piece of clothing is a story taking place that they are not willing to share with their customers: a dirty supply chain tainted with deforestation and hazardous chemicals. They are showing no willingness to make a commitment to clean up their supply chain.

We released the Fashion Duel ranking on February 7, which surveys 15 Italian and French luxury brands based on key areas of their global supply chain: leather, pulp and paper and hazardous chemical use. So far only Valentino has committed to implement zero deforestation and zero hazardous chemical discharge policies while Prada, Dolce&Gabbana, Chanel, Hermès, Alberta Ferretti and Trussardi are refusing to even disclose information to us.

More than 20,000 people are demanding more than elegant designs from these companies. They want clothes that are authentic and that have a story they can be proud of.  Will they now clean up their supply chains and set a new trend for more fashion houses to follow?

I guess this morning our invitation to open their close doors was clear enough!

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Chiara Campione is the Fashion Duel Project Coordinator, with Greenpeace Italy.